Letter to local press

As many people will not be aware, Dorset, including both its urban and rural areas, is required to build 73,000 houses by 2030. This in turn will mean that the population of Dorset will increase by at least 150,000. The question arises, will the NHS, already understaffed and seriously underfunded, cope with such a rise in population?

I ask as under the latest proposed reorganisation of the NHS, the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), increasingly known as Slash, Trash and Privatise, argues that Dorset NHS cannot sustain its present service now comprised of 135 primary care sites and 13 Community Hospitals with beds. This is of course before taking into account the fact that the population of Dorset could increase by 150,000 in 2030.

Bridport itself is also faced with a huge rise in population, and there are doubts that our medical centre will cope, especially with an ever increasing elderly population. Here according to a doctor friend of mine, Bridport will require at least 2.7 extra doctors to cope with its estimated rise in population. It therefore asks the question, how many doctors will be required by 2030 not only in Dorset, but in Bridport?  Also with specific regard to Bridport, what is the future of the Bridport Community Hospital?

According to Pulse, a magazine for GPs, it argues that GPs ‘have been left largely in the dark’ regarding these STP plans. Surely, given the importance of the matter, it is time that we were told the truth as to the future of the NHS in Dorset; especially so as to whether it will be able to cope with such a rise in its population?

Richard Nicholls

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